Skin Cancer Clinics
In January, Standing Voice Executive Director Harry Freeland travelled to Tanzania to host an evaluative partners’ visit to our Skin Cancer Prevention Programme (SCPP).
This independent evaluation — occurring annually as part of Standing Voice’s new partnership with the Pierre Fabre Foundation — was led by Dr Claire Fuller, Chair of the International Foundation for Dermatology. Dr Fuller and partners joined our team for the Shinyanga leg in our first cycle of clinics for 2017. During the visit, we delivered four life-saving clinics: three at Buhangija School, Shinyanga Regional Hospital, and Kahama District Hospital; and a fourth in a brand new location at Kishapu District Hospital. We welcomed 276 patients with albinism, referring 3 for advanced surgery.
Dr Fuller monitored clinical consultations, observed patient registration and flow, attended health education sessions, and conducted a focus group discussion with a sample of beneficiaries. She observed “a balance of care and kindness mingled with camaraderie and fun amongst all participants”, and noted “competent, confident professionals working well in an efficient multidisciplinary team”. Dr Fuller will produce an annual report providing a full review of SCPP.
Also in attendance were Dr Daudi Mavura, Principal of the Regional Dermatology Training Centre; Mafalda Soto, the Executive Director of Kilisun; Elizabeth Sawe, Manager of the Kilimanjaro Sunscreen Production Unit; and US dermatologist Dr Aileen Chang.
Dr Mavura delivered clinical consultations and trained SCPP dermatologists in the use of new monitoring and evaluation procedures. Dr Mavura also performed a number of minor surgeries, which were observed by SCPP dermatologists, with a view to introducing a day of surgery at each clinic that visits a regional hospital.
Standing Voice’s Skin Cancer Prevention Programme continues to deliver regular skin cancer education, prevention, detection, and treatment to people with albinism in their own communities. Our biannual clinic cycles reach over 1800 people with albinism at 28 clinic locations across 7 regions of Tanzania. Each clinic provides skin cancer screening; liquid nitrogen cryotherapy; antibiotics; Tanzanian-made sunscreen, Kilisun; preventative education; and, if necessary, referral for advanced surgical treatment. The programme — which works by training local stakeholders including in-country dermatologists, hospitals and schools, local and national government, NGOs, civil society organisations, albinism societies, and media — has quickly established itself as a leading model of dermatological healthcare for people with albinism in Tanzania, and has recently been piloted in Malawi. Broader continental expansion has begun, following the launch of our four-year partnership with the Pierre Fabre Foundation.